Association of blood cadmium with hypertension in the Korean general population: Analysis of the 2008–2010 Korean national health and nutrition examination survey data

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IntroductionWe present data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008–2010 regarding the association between blood cadmium levels and blood pressure in a representative sample of the adult South Korean population.MethodsWe restricted the analysis to participants ≥20 years of age who completed the health examination survey, including blood cadmium measurements (n = 5,919). We performed multivariate linear regression analyses to estimate adjusted mean differences in diastolic and systolic blood pressure associated with doubling of, or quartiles of, cadmium levels after covariate adjustment. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for hypertension and prehypertension for log-transformed blood cadmium levels and quartiles thereof after covariate adjustment.ResultsWe observed a twofold increase in blood cadmium associated with 0.755 and 1.007 mmHg increases in diastolic pressure in women and men, respectively. We observed 2.243 and 1.975 mmHg increases in diastolic pressure in women and men, respectively, in the highest compared with the lowest quartile of blood cadmium. Systolic pressure showed results similar to those of diastolic pressure. Based on ORs, a doubling of blood cadmium resulted in 18.6% and 31.5% increases in the risk of hypertension in women and men, respectively. Doubling of blood cadmium resulted in a 23.5% and 22.9% increase in the risk of prehypertension in women and men, respectively.ConclusionWe found a significant association between blood cadmium levels and elevated blood pressure regardless of the type of variable (continuous or categorical) in women and men with a lower blood cadmium level compared to previous Korean studies. This study also showed that blood cadmium levels were robust risk factors for prehypertension in both women and men. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1060–1067, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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